Friday, June 6, 2008

Accordance, Logos, and BibleWorks7 - Contents comparison

I see that with the release of their new version 8, Accordance has updated their Scholar's Collections bundles. These are the kind of packages using original language tools that I suggest my students to consider. So, take a look at the listing of resources on this page. Consider first their Scholar's Collection 7.4 Core Bundle. Priced at $250, it is going head to head directly with BibleWorks7 ($250 is the group discount price) and with Logos Original Languages Library ($250 is the academic purchase price). I am just looking at the contents here, so my comments are not reflecting on the interface, speed, intuitiveness, and special functions (like the INFER engine noted in the previous post). Since I don't actually have the Accordance program, I may be missing something not listed. (If Accordance wants to send me the program...) I'm also thinking primarily in terms of texts that I would like our seminary students to have, including:

  • a variety of English Bible translations (ranging from a literal translation like the NASB to a balanced translation like the NRSV or T/NIV to a dynamic one like TEV or CEV or Message)
  • the NET Bible with notes
  • original language biblical texts with reliable lexicons
  • some extra features like maps and Pseudepigrapha and Apostolic Fathers and Philo/Jospehus.
So, as I look at the Accordance bundle in comparison to BW7 and Logos, I see:

  • NET Bible with notes
  • Acceptable Hebrew lexicons (BDB and TWOT)
  • Nice selection of Parallel texts resources
  • A $30 unlock credit (which will get you one more English Bible)
Cons (and remember, I'm simply considering value of contents in relation to BW7 and Logos):
  • The only English versions supplied are ASV, KJV, and NET with notes
    - Logos provides 9 including NRSV, NASB, KJV, NET with notes, and ESV
    - BW7 has 38 English versions which includes all the ones you want except any of the more 'dynamic' versions like TEV, CEV, or Message (and they also include a ton of non-English Bibles)
  • No Septuagint
    - Logos and BW7 both have morphologically tagged versions and BW7 includes the Brenton English translation
  • Best Greek lexicons are the Louw-Nida (this is good) and UBS (which basically just provides glosses)
    - Logos is okay here, and does provide Louw-Nida, TDNT, Lust's Lexicon of the LXX, and the intermediate Liddell-Scott
    - BW7 includes Louw-Nida, UBS, Lust's, intermediate Liddell-Scott, Friberg's Analytical Lexicon (very good) and The Shorter Lexicon of the GNT (based on BDAG; also quite helpful)
  • No Philo, Josephus, Pseudepigrapha, or Apostolic Fathers
    - Logos includes Josephus in English; Charles' OT Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in English
    - BW7 has fully tagged Philo and Josephus in Greek plus English; Charles' OT Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in English; Apostolic Fathers w/ fully tagged Greek plus English
  • No maps (the Bible Atlas is an $89 add on)
    - Logos has no maps in the OL Library
    - BW7 adds a mapping module that is highly customizable
Other notable inclusions with Logos Original Languages Library are multiple Greek NT morphological texts, a number of Hebrew/Greek-English interlinears, Comfort/Barrett's The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts, CATSS/Tov Hebrew-Greek Parallel Aligned Text, a number of other Hebrew and Greek grammar resources, Metzger's Textual Commentary on the NT, Syriac Peshitta NT with English, Targums, Nag Hammadi Library in English, Lexham Syntactic Greek NT, Greek NT

Other notable inclusions with BW7 are multiple Greek NT morphological texts, CATSS/Tov Hebrew-Greek Parallel Aligned Text, a number of other Hebrew and Greek grammar resources, Archer-Chirichigno OT Quotations in the NT, Metzger's Textual Commentary on the NT, Syriac Peshitta NT with English, Targums
From a superficial standpoint of content, it certainly appears that you got many more rather essential texts in Logos and BW7 than you do in Accordance, and adding books in Acccordance can become costly very quickly.

Accordance does offer the whole Scholar's Collection unlocked for... $2500! You get a lot of excellent texts: NETSeptuagint; DSSBible; LXX/Philo/Josephus/Apostolic Fathers/Pseudepigrapha in Greek/English; Wallace's Grammar; L&S/Lust's/TDNT lexicons; Mishnah, Targums, DSS, Peshitta; Metzger's Commentary; and more, BUT you still don't get any extra English Bibles or maps.

This whole version could be compared to the Logos Gold Library which is $830 (academic pricing). The list of works is long... BibleWorks really doesn't offer upgraded libraries, but you can add on modules.

As the only original languages Bible software for the Mac (Logos is still only in alpha release), Accordance is really the only choice for Mac users. (A number of people are running BW7 or Logos under Windows emulation, however.) My students who use Accordance love it, and that is, of course, worth something. From the perspective of a PC guy, however, Accordance looks to be quite expensive for what you get. Still, if I haven't mentioned it before, if Accordance wants to send me the program to review, I'll be happy to accept it!

Okay, am I missing any critical contents? Is there a discount place to obtain Accordance one should know about? Let us know!

UPDATE 2008.06.07: Be sure to read the comment by David Lang. The very latest Accordance blog post talked about the new Scholar's bundles and linked to the page I referenced, so that was the basis for my making the comparison. But, duh, it does say Scholars Collection 7.4, not 8.0. I did find this page that provides a table of the Scholars8 Library, but it doesn't look too different in terms of what's included. Second, I had looked all over the Accordance site for discount information and could not find any, so I'm glad David clarified that there are discounts available. For my seminary students, I'm still mainly looking at what they can get in that $250-350 range, so I will indeed check again when Accordance has their web site completely updated with the version 8 packages. (Of course, did I mention they could send me one to review? Actually, and this is a memo to the Accordance sales department, I have had great difficulty figuring out what to recommend to my students working from their web site. I find the purchasing of individual volumes to add up quickly and the overlapping of libraries/bundles/modules to be rather confusing.)
Also in the comments, Mike is indeed correct that only Logos offers the full Kittel TDNT. It is just the "Little Kittel" in Accordance and BibleWorks. (The full Kittel is indeed an invaluable reference work, but it does have its flaws.)
Stay tuned for more updates when Accordance updates their site.

UPDATE 2008.06.09: Accordance has, as promised, updated their web site over the weekend.
Accordance offers an Introductory, Standard, and Premier level. Here is the link to the $249 (before discounts; it also includes two $30 unlocks) Scholar's 8 Standard Level. In terms of content only, I think my earlier comments are still accurate. As I look at their comparison table, I might encourage my students to buy the $149 Introductory level (before discounts; includes one $30 unlock) and then add on other needed resources.

I'm putting together a list of what I think my students should have, at least to start out, and I'll post it on this blog when it is ready.


  1. Some points of clarification:

    First, we've not yet released or advertised the new Scholar's collection, so the contents you're referring to are the existing Scholar's 7.4 Core Bundle, not the soon-to-released Scholar's 8 Core Bundle.

    Second, you're comparing Accordance's retail price with various discount prices. Accordance offers a 10% academic discount, higher group discounts, etc.

    Third, the Scholar's Unlock All is really just a greatly discounted option for those who want every grammatically tagged text in the Scholar's Collection. Very few people actually need all of those resources, so we generally encourage people to go with smaller (and less expensive) options.

    Consequently, a better point of comparison with something like Logos' Scholar's Gold Library would be some combination of the Library, Scholar's, and other add-ons. The Library gets you the bulk of the English Bibles and English study aids, while the Scholar's gets you the original language resources. Library 7 Premier and Scholar's Core combined cost just $470. From there someone can add BDAG, HALOT, etc. and still stay well under $830.

    And of course, when we actually begin listing the contents of the new Library and Scholar's, you'll be able to get substantially more value for the money. I hope you'll revisit this question of comparative value once our new packages are released.

  2. One thing that could be emphasized if that fact that only Logos provides the unabridged edition of TDNT. Both Bibleworks and Accordance provide merely "little Kittel."


  3. Another point you make is that Accordance includes fewer modern bibles, but in fact each "level" of the Library or Scholar's packages offers the user's choice of from 1 to 3 modern Bibles.

  4. Real world usability also has to be factored into this equation. Dollar-for-dollar, Accordance offers the best value when content, interface, usability, and features are all considered. While you're waiting for a review copy, download the demo version and try it for yourself.

  5. Your comparison is on price vs contents alone.

    This is akin to comparing the features and prices of cars without ever test driving them. Two cars can be almost identical in features and yet one can be far superior in many aspects, such as comfort, reliability and speed, over the other. The same applies to software.

    Take for instance my recent testing of GTD software. First I compared features from various programs while also comparing price. Some were free while others were a couple hundred dollars. After taking many of them for a spin I ended up forking out for one of the more expensive versions because the interface and usability made all the difference in the experience. I want to use the program, not fight with it.

    Accordance is one of those programs that on it's most basic level is extremely easy to use even for a beginner. Just about anyone can jump right in and start learning. But even the advanced user still has a multitude of features they will probably never know the depth of all of them.

    All this to say price should only be just one aspect of many when comparing products.

    Also it's interesting that you're comparing the Accordance retail to the discounted prices of the other programs. This is an uneven comparison.

  6. Thanks for your comments, Rick. I fully agree that content is worth nothing if you cannot do anything with it. I have really tried to emphasize in this post that I'm only looking at content. If you check, you will see that I have said fine things about Accordance, and my students who use it are very happy with it, so I'm not criticizing the program.
    As for the pricing, I for the life of me cannot figure out what the academic discount price is. I went so far as to set up an account, add the Scholar's Std to my cart, click on the discount button... but it appears that I would have to enter credit card info to find out my discount. If you know what the student discount price for the Scholar's Intro or Std collection is, please let me know.
    I hope to have more to say about these programs down the line...

  7. Mark,

    The academic discount is 10% for full-time students and professors. Also, we do not charge tax for orders outside of FL.
    In addition, as David mentioned, we offer higher discounts for group orders. If a group of 10 or more put together an order (billed to the same party, shipped to same address) you can get a 25% discount off the entire order, with free shipping.
    In the future, to save time I would encourage you to contact our sales department directly if you have a question (877.339.5855 or
    I hope that helps you.


    Rick Bennett
    Accordance Development Team

  8. It seems that the outstanding Accordance content from Zondervan is being left out of the equation. You can obtain a great Accordance package with the Zondervan Scholarly Bible Study Suite for $79.95:

    You may want to direct your students to this package as the starting point. It has a number of really good academic titles, and they are not available for Logos or BibleWorks.

    This also applies to NIDNTT and NIDOTTE, available separately for Accordance, but not BW or Logos.

    For example, a student can purchase all 3 of Zondervan's Accordance packages at a discounted price of $150, and end up with:


    New International Bible Dictionary; Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions, and the Occult; NIV Compact Bible Dictionary (which is still 700+ pages)

    NIV Greek Dictionary; NIV Hebrew Dictionary; UBS4/NA27 Greek NT; NT Greek Morpheme Lexicon; Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics; New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek NT; Morphology of Biblical Greek; Basics of Biblical Greek (2nd Ed.); Analytical Lexicon to the Greek NT; BHS Hebrew Bible; Hebrew Vocabulary of the OT

    Asbury Bible Commentary; Commentaries by Eadie, Godet, Hort, Lightfoot, Westcott (approx. 20 vols. altogether); New International Bible Commentary

    NIV Study Bible; NIV Thematic Reference Bible

    New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties; New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words; New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology; New International Dictionary of the Christian Church; Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible

    Introduction to the NT (Carson, Moo); Introduction to the OT (Dillard, Longman); Is There a Meaning in This Text? (Vanhoozer); A General Introduction to the Bible (Ewert); Understanding the Bible (Stott)

    And this still leaves the student with $100 to purchase other Accordance titles. Just something to think about.